Quality Care Close to Home


Even as certain aspects of daily life in the Rio Grande Valley have ground to a halt during the COVID-19 crisis, there are others that haven’t — including the needs for high quality health care.

“During COVID time, certain other diseases don’t stop,” said Archie Drake, COO at Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen. “We’re still seeing patients come into our hospital requiring stroke care, people still having heart attacks.  There’s still trauma.  And, we are caring for people with joint, hip and knee pain, shoulder and foot pain as well. All of our programs are nationally accredited. We have to maintain those standards, as we always do. We also maintain the standards of the infection prevention standards that are needed in the COVID time.”

Valley Baptist has taken stringent steps to both prepare for the COVID-19 crisis and continue to offer the quality care patients and the community have come to expect.

“I would like to also remind the community in general to not forgo their healthcare needs,” Drake said. “Whatever the case may be, I want people to know that the hospital is a safe place to come when you have healthcare needs.”

The team at Valley Baptist is known for delivering excellent care for Harlingen, Cameron County, the Rio Grande Valley, and beyond.

“Our team at Valley Baptist is driven by our purpose to improve the quality of life for every person that comes through our door,” said Dr. Uvaldo Cantu Jr., OB/GYN and chief of staff at Valley Baptist. “There’s no greater gift than that of good health, which is a reason why our outstanding physicians, nurses, employees, volunteers, and hospital leadership work diligently to provide excellent care each and every day.”

That high standard of care ensures that residents can receive excellent treatment without having to travel outside of the RGV.

“Our responsibility to the community is to stay on the forefront of medical advances and to drive innovation by utilizing a collaborative approach of communication to consistently offer the highest standard of care,” Cantu said. “We strive in building and maintaining trust with our community.”

Actively belonging to the community helps the Valley Baptist team excel at patient care.

“We nurture the concept of always putting ourselves in a patient’s position,” Cantu said. “The concept of always placing the patient first and trying to experience situations in the hospital through the patients’ eyes help us adjust to their needs — and also make us better providers.”

Drake agreed.

“We’re providing services aimed at keeping people at home,” he said. “They’re our neighbors. I want them to get their health care here close to home and not have to travel for it. We offer a healthcare solution that is big city medicine, but here close to home.”

Valley Baptist has done its part in preparing for and responding to the pandemic. Stringent infection control procedures already in place have been adapted for COVID-19, and the hospital has plenty of PPE and ventilators, Cantu said.

“Our response has been based on learning from others,” Drake said of COVID-19 preparedness at Valley Baptist. “We’ve watched the data, we’ve watched the trends, we’ve looked at best practices. There have been some lessons learned from other health providers and systems not only across the country, but across the world.”

The preparedness at Valley Baptist highlights the commitment the team has to serving the community. It is a true collaboration, Drake said, adding that he thanks Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. for issuing important mandates like sheltering in place and covering faces to help protect residents — and frequently communicating with healthcare systems.

“A crisis doesn’t make or break you, it reveals you,” Cantu said. “We always knew that doctors, nurses, and staff at Valley Baptist came to work with compassion and expertise.”

Learn more about Valley Baptist Health System and its response to COVID-19 at valleybaptist.net/.

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